Archive for the ‘ Nalini Singh ’ Category

To read, perhaps to listen?

I have been distracted this week due to family issues but I have still managed to keep up with some reading and I have rediscovered my love of (some) audio books. I have written about audio books before. I stand by what I say. The narrator makes of breaks an audio book for me. I can’t make myself overlook bad voice acting or horrendous accents. It ruins a lot for me.

In preparation for the new instalment of The Dresden Files ‘Changes’ by Jim Butcher, I’m listening to the books to refresh my memory. There’s been a lot of them. ‘Changes’ is instalment 11 or 12 I think. It’s one of the few series I have kept up with. I normally get ‘series fatigue’ by book 5 or 6. Jim Butcher, JR Ward, Lara Adrian, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Lorelei James seem to be the only survivors of this condition.

Sometimes I wish authors would swap, what must be, the security of an established fan base and a nice big fat book contract, and take a chance. Write something new.

I suppose they feel pressured as well. When you get hundreds of letters and email asking when the next instalment is, I imagine it’s hard to disappoint people, even if the creative drive is no longer there. (Which is evident in a LOT of authors who write long and protracted series) I suppose it’s also hard not to listen to people who are there to advise you. Publishers need to make money as much as an author. Why take a chance on something you’re not sure will sell when you have a product (a brand in some cases) that sells really well? Maybe these authors find it hard to write that second series. Find it difficult to come up with new ideas so they stay in their comfort zone. Maybe some even like the notoriety? Who knows?

But I think audio books might be the answer to some of my series fatigue. I don’t feel like I am wasting my time when I am listening to an audio book while doing the dishes, or the laundry. Plus, a stack of  audiobooks just doesn’t look as intimidating as a massive stack of books can.

So I can maybe pick up some of those series I let fall behind. I left the ‘In Death’ books behind at around book nine, I think. I would love to pick that series back up but every book started to feel very samey to me. I could also finally get around to reading the last Harry Potter. (I know, I still haven’t read it AND I have managed to stay unspoiled! Don’t ruin it for me.) Does Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter books have audio? Are they any good?

I doubt they are as good as James Marsters is. I think they should pass a law that he should read all audio books from now on. Le sigh.

What about you all? When do you usually drop a long running series? What about good/bad audiobook narrators? Any I should stay away from?

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UK vs. US

Sometimes I feel like I am in a South Park episode. The one where Butters is Professor Chaos and he’s trying to take over the world and every time he comes up with a plan his sidekick General Disarray tells him, ‘The Simpsons did it!’ It’s like that in Romancelandia a lot of the time. You come up with an idea and go looking for pictures or quotes and then find that someone had beaten you to the punch.

Example. I was going to do this post on Nathan Kamp and how he seems to be on every frickin romance novel cover and why the hell is this the case cause yeah, he’s good-looking but he’s not that good-looking. Went to get some pictures and saw that Jessica over at Racy Romance Reviews had all ready done it. And her post was so much more eloquent and rational than I would have managed I thought to myself, ‘Yep, I’m not gonna even try!’

The I was going to do this post on UK vs. US covers and saw that Meljean had done something similar over at Oddshots. But you know what. I have come to the same conclusion poor Professor Chaos did. Romancelandia has been around for aeons and will be around after I go and we always talk about the same subjects again and again and again so another repetitive blog post ain’t gonna kill us. Plus, I have pretty pictures I want to show you all…

So UK vs. US book covers.

There are different reasons for a change in cover which Meljean goes into in her blog post here. But I have to say, maybe it’s because I am from the UK, I think the UK edges out the US a lot of the time…*controversial* Let me show you.

Keri Arthur

I just prefer the UK one. It feels more evocative somehow. Although I do like the colour scheme of the US one, it feels like anyone with Photoshop could have done it (Although I know that isn’t the case..)


Nalini Singh

I prefer black over lurid pink. I’m not sure what possessed that particular choice. Admit it, you’d be much happier reading the UK cover on the train.


J.D. Robb

Again much more evocative. I find the US covers really garish and it doesn’t tell me anything about the book at all.


Sherrilyn Kenyon

Admit it, it’s just much prettier. Although admittedly, the US covers have had a make over and I do prefer the covers with just the sigils on them to the lurid men covers they used to have.


Jim Butcher

I think the US covers for his Codex Alera series are like a badly drawn school project. I really dislike them.  (Although they are probably drawn by someone really famous.) I was so happy when Orbit brought the new UK covers out. I think they convey the fantasy feel without falling into the usual pitfalls of fantasy covers.


As for his Dresden Files series. I also prefer the, admittedly, boring UK covers. Why? Because as much as I like Chris McGrath’s covers he draws Harry with a freakin’ fedora on and HARRY NEVER WEARS ONE IN THE BOOKS. EVER! It really irritates me. So I prefer the UK ones cause they leave me to imagine the characters myself without putting ideas in my head. Of erroneous hats.


Ann Aguirre

I love the new cover for Ann Aguirre’s Corine Solomon series. It’s dark and moody much like the book (although there are lighter moments). I do like the US cover as well, I just like the UK more. Sometimes that happens. Even though the US cover is probably more representative of the character.


Eloisa James

No contest as far as I am concerned. It’s a beautiful picture and I love the little chess piece in the picture. It gives you a clue to the content but looks out-of-place there so you give it a second look. It’s just such a lavish picture. Very representative of Elosia’s work I think.


Julia Quinn

Although the UK covers are a lit too chick-lit in execution, I do think that they translate the sense of fun and humour that is apparent in Julia’s work. Unlike the US covers that are so vague they almost seem surreal.


However there are exceptions with Julia Quinn. The two ‘Cavendish’ books for instance. I much preferred the US covers. Go figure.


Lisa Kleypas

It’s not always the case that I prefer the UK over US either. I prefer the US covers to Lisa Kleypas’ newest historical series. The blue dress is stunning and much more interesting to my eye than the far away figure in the UK cover.  US cover win.


Rachel Gibson

I  do like the UK covers better. Again, they seem to convey a sense of fun. Although, that said, it is obvious that the UK publisher is trying to make this cover seem anything but romance as that is a dirty word in the UK.


It’s a subject matter that has been discussed ad nauseam and it’s true that while you know what you’re getting when you have mantitty or a back/dress combo, namely a romance novel, why does it feel that romance readers get the short end of the stick when it comes to cover art? Especially in America. Why is it that YA novels get beautiful covers like this?


And romance readers barely warrant any effort at all. Srsly, I CAN do better than this on Photoshop.

Why is there more effort put into a book for teens, than into a book for adults? Because that’s what it feels like. ‘Oh, they’ll buy it regardless so let’s not bother.’ But that’s a whole other subject for a whole other day.

(I’m probably going to get panned now from rabid Chris McGrath fans..*ducks*)

What a week

So last week kicked my ass.

Work is hectic at the moment. We have a new boss and while I am feeling energized and focused, I am annoyed at some of my colleagues and their less than professional attitude towards him. I always like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt when coming into an established team. Having been there myself I understand the stresses and pitfall of trying to integrate and facilitate a positive change in the process.Until he does something to prove to me he is TSTL he has my support. It’s how I am.

Retail is an ever-changing beast. It never stays still. Processes, tasks etc are always changing. Companies are always looking for the fastest, cheapest way to hoover money from their customers. So I always find it irritating when colleagues hold on like grim death to a certain job or function saying ‘We’ve always done it like this.’

What they really mean is, ‘I have always done it like this.’ There really is no place for inflated egos in retail and I am sick of trying to manage other peoples. ARGHHHHHH! Being obtuse and obstructive. Always seeing the negative first. Never bringing anything useful to a conversation. Maliciously gossiping about a man they don’t even know, just because he wants to change a few things. Things that will bring in more money and enable these people to keep their frickin jobs.

[/rant]

On the plus side we had an AWESOME cherub event this weekend in the kids dept. Around 40 kids attended although 70% drifted off before or during the event. Some were shy and some were a little too old. We did gear the tasks for the younger end of the spectrum, not expecting the older kids to come. I thought it would be too unfashionable for them. My bad. However, we sold a ton of books, recruited more kids to our monthly bookclub and generated a lot of interest in next weeks event which is Roald Dahl day.

I had a blast. Cat and I (who are both massive Cherub fans) had such a laugh and chatted and gossipped with the kids about the books and what character they loved best and what their favourite book was and why. Some of them were lucky enough to attend the Cherub event at the Book Festival this year and we managed to persuade them to write a little piece for our monthly newsletter. Fantastic fun.

I have been watching ‘That 70’s Show’ to fall asleep to this past week. That show still makes me laugh so hard. DUMBASS!

On the book front, I have picked up a little more speed again. Read a heap of Blazes.

Amorous Liaisons by Sarah Mayberry. Set in the world of ballet this time (her last one was female boxing!) it’s the tale of Max and Maddy. It a ‘friends become lovers’ story which I love. The twist is that it’s Max who has the unrequited love and Maddy who is clueless. I loved this. How can I not, it’s Sarah Mayberry. Even though it’s a Blaze and it’s law that 40% of it must be sex, she always manages to get the emotional impact across. Her guys are always great and her heroines are not usually TSTL.  Bliss.

Lethal Exposure by Lori Wilde. After a shaky start with the other two installments of this series, Lori Wilde managed to finish with a bang. It was hot and sweet. Although I did figure out who the big bad was well before the end. There is such a thing as TOO much foreshadowing.

Ms Match by Jo Leigh. Sublime, sublime, sublime. Great concept, great hero, great heroine. Horrible family. Paul is pretty but shallow and Gwen is smart but plain. Sparks fly. Misunderstandings are had. Sweet love is made and they all lived happily ever after. *sigh*

At Her Pleasure by Cindi Myers. Ridiculous tat about uncovering a female pirate’s buried treasure (I SHIT YOU NOT) and canoodling in hammocks on a desert island. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. Trust me.

Next up was a Silhouette special edition by Susan Crosby called..wait for it…’The Single Dad’s Virgin Wife.’ Awesome. Title aside I loved this book. I adore it when the kiddies conspire to get the adults together. (Not one for you Jen though, I know.) Noah was great as the dad who was struggling to connect with his kids after the death of his wife. It gets me right here. *thumping chest* I just can’t resist a man who loves his kids. It’s part of a series called ‘Wives For Hire.’ The first one was good too. (It had a cute kid in it too….stay away Jen!)

Following that was ‘Mad Dogs‘ by Robert Muchamore. Gang warfare and teenage romance. I loved it. I’m not saying too much more because I do intend to wax lyrical about this book and the rest of the series in the not too distant future.

And Finally this week ‘Hostage To Pleasure‘ by Nalini SIngh. It was everything all the reviews said it was. I finished it with a sigh of satisfaction. Dorien was a great hero and after having doubts about Ashaya while reading excerpts, I was glad to be disabused of my worries. One niggle. I think Amara was wasted. The conclusion of her storyline was somewhat anti-climactic. There was so much more scope for terror there. She was set up as this horrific spectre and failed to deliver on the final push. But other than that…loved it. Nalini says there is going to be a pregnancy in the next book, anyone taking wagers on who is going to have the first set of pups? Sascha and Lucas? Faith and Vaughn? Judd and Brenna? Clay and Tally? Dorien and Ashaya? maybe even Mercy and Riley?

AND I won a book from Nalini Singh over on DIK. How cool is that. Plus Ann Aguirre took pity on my fangirl squeeing and sent me a copy of Wanderlust as well. LUCKIEST WEEK EVER!

National Nalini Day!

So to celebrate the release of Hostage To Pleasure (Book 5 in the Psy/Changeling series) I have declared today National Nalini day on this blog.

Nalini is running a competition to win $75 of book vouchers. I’m in! Do you know how many books I can buy with that! Sweet!

So all we have to do to be in with a chance to win is to answer the following questions. Easy-peesy!

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* Which fictional hero (from books, tv, movies…) would you most like to hold hostage?

It’s got to be Dean Winchester from Supernatural. I’m a total DeanGirl. I’m so in love with him. I’d happily tie him up and keep him hostage so I could just look at him all day long. Hopefully then he would get some of that Stockholm Syndrome and we could have a mighty fine time. What can I say, I just can’t get enough of those tortured, emotionally crippled, smart-ass guys!

* Which fictional hero would you most like to be held hostage by?

It’s got to be Butch from the BDB. So he and V can put on a little show for me……heh. Cause that’s my kinda torture. Watching but not getting to touch.

* Which fictional world would you most like to be held hostage in?

Ohhhh this is a tough one but it’s probably Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ simply because I would be a total kickass Aes Sadai of the Green Ajah, or an Aiel. ( Also, I would totally mac on Lan. Cause he is hot. He’s the silent but deadly type….rwoar!))

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So there you have it. Questions answered. Now I’m off to read some more of Hostage To Pleasure. (Although I think some of my answers might be changing after I finish. Dorian is one hot dude.)

Also check out the new excerpts for Branded By Fire (Book 6 in the Psy/Changeling Series) and Angel’s Blood, Nalini’s new Urban Fantasy series. Warning! The Branded By Fire excerpt has a HAWT rating of SUPERNOVA. On the basis of that one sneek peek I can guarantee you Riley is going on my Top Ten list of Heroes for next year!

All joking aside this a fantastic series, well worth your money and time. Nalini has never failed to deliver the goods. Fantastic story, intricate but solid world-building, swoon-worthy heroes and strong heroines.

All I Want For Christmas…

So Sarai put up a list of books she would like for Christmas and I was going to do the same but then I realized that there isn’t much out there I don’t have that I already wanted…does that make sense? I know I have an impulse control problem but I really didn’t think it was this bad. Most of the books, I want but haven’t got yet are not published yet. It’s why I don’t have ’em.

Let’s try this:

1. Leaping Hearts – Jessica Bird

2. Hostage To Pleasure – Nalini SIngh (Sep)

3. Demon Bound – Meljean Brook (Nov)

4. First Blood Anthology – Sizemore, Brook, McCarthy

5. BDB Compendium – J.R. Ward (Oct)

6. Wanderlust – Ann Aguirre (Sep)

7. Bitten To Death – Jennifer Rardin

8. Wild Road – Marjorie M Lui

9. Iron Hunt – Marjorie M Lui

10. Death Of A Pirate King – Josh Lanyon (Sep)

11. Every Last Drop – Charlie Huston (Sep)

12. An original ‘Whitney, My Love’ – Judith McNaught, not a revised version.

There are other titles that I’m waiting on that have no name or release date yet. As far as I can tell, I’m pretty much ahead of the game. There are a few titles that I am missing from e-book format but that I have read so it’s not vitally important I have those.

Stuff like

1. The Darkest Night/Kiss/Pleasure – Gena Showalter

2. Dangerous Games – Keri Arthur

3. Mine To Posess – Nalini Singh

4. It Had To Be You – SEP

5. In Death series

6. Dark-Hunter Series

7. Magic Burns/Bites – Illona Andrews

So what is everyone else waiting on being published or dying to buy?

In other unrelated news, we finally set-up our ‘Paranormal Romance’ section at work. It kicks all kinds of ass. I love it. *grin*

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